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Monthly Archives: February 2011

  • Patagonia wine for Enotria

    We are very pleased to announce that from 1st March 2011 Patagonian wine producers Humberto Canale will be distributed exclusively in the UK by Enotria. Humberto Canale is the longest established Patagonian producer, founded in 1909 in the High Valley of the Rio Negro at 39.2 degrees south in southern Argentina. Pinot Noir and Merlot flourish in the high altitudes, and Canale’s Sauvignon Blanc is regarded as one of the country’s best. The wines will be available to order from 1 May 2011. Enotria buyer Daniel Hart says “We’re seeing increasing interest from all channels in premium Argentinean wine and have decided to strategically grow our portfolio to better represent Argentina regionally – much as we do in Australia and South Africa. There is a very strong cultural and gastronomic link between Argentina and Europe, which thanks to our strong restaurant focus we’re well placed to build on. “The whole South American category is really hotting up for us this year, as Canale joins other new recruits Vina Leyda and Vina Falernia from Chile, and Vina Vistalba and Tomero also from Argentina.” Humberto Canale Director Guillermo Barzi Canale says: “We are delighted about this new relationship with Enotria, they will be putting the focus we were looking for our products in the UK and we are sure we will be able to achieve our goals with them”. Come and meet Guillo Barzi Canale at table 59 the Enotria Annual Tasting at One Marylebone, London NW1 on Monday, 7 March. Visit for full details

  • Sunshine on Leith

    Had a great day out in trade last week. Along with Scottish salesman Les Somerville, photographer Ralph and I arrived in Edinburgh to capture some of the city's top restaurants and the people who run them for our next wine list. First stop, the legendary deli / restaurant Valvona and Crolla. Managing director Philip Contini greeted us with great warmth - saying 'feel free to arrange things as you want for pictures'. As well as an appetite-inducing selection of meats, oils and breads, V&C has one of the best wine ranges around, with a natural strength in Italy balanced by some great New World wines - especially from New Zealand. Next we drove down what Les informed us is known locally as 'the Michelin mile' - through Leith to the docks. Streets which were once the haunt of sailors (and what usually accompanies them) are now home to three Michelin starred restaurants.


    The last of these is Tom's Kitchin, where the eponymous Tom and Michaela Kitchin have built up a reputation for stunning food in a funky and attractive setting. Tom has a dazzling Cv, having worked for both Pierre Kauffmann and Alain Ducasse amongst others prior to setting up the Kitchin to tremendous acclaim. Both Tom and Michaela were extremely accomodating (in fact everyone we met in Edinburgh was so helpful) and we also took some 'moody' pics of their Scottish sommelier Murray, with a glass of Lehmann's Margaret Semillon in hand. Then, from a Kitchin to a Kitching.


    Paul Kitching left Juniper restaurant near Manchester 18 months ago to set up 21212 - an extraordinary 'restaurant with rooms' in a Georgian Royal Terrace with views all the way down to the Firth of Forth (where you could actually see the sunshine on Leith). Within six months of opening he had picked up a Michelin star. The decor is a magical mixture of classical, funky modern and unique - one entire wall of the drawing room is taken up by a blown up section of Carvaggio's Seven Works of Mercy. Paul is a true one-off, and taking pictures in his kitchen and dining room made us wish we had arrived nearer to dinner time! But we couldn't stay.


    Next stop Divino Enoteca. Described as 'a round trip to Italy at a fraction of the price', it is an Aladdin's cave in an ancient building next to the law courts, packed with Enomatic machines, meaning that customers have a huge selection of wines to try by the glass. An adventurous listing policy also means you get to try wines you might not otherwise come across. For example Blauburgunder (Pinot Nero or Pinot Noir) from Colterenzio. You wouldn't immediately think of northern Italy when thinking Pinot Noir, but the example we tried from the machine at Divino tasted divine - especially with the dish of home-made meatballs we scoffed following the photos. Our thanks to all the restaurateurs who gave up their time for us - we had a top day. Ps The Enotria Roadshow tasting in Edinburgh is on Thursday 10 March.

  • Margaret is best in show

    Peter Lehmann Margaret Semillon Peter Lehmann Margaret Semillon 2005 has just cleaned up at the Royal Sydney Wine Show – winning best wine in show as well as best varietal wine and best white wine. Winemaker Andrew Wigan said the latest achievement is a great result for Semillon, Peter Lehmann and the Barossa. “Semillon has been growing in our valley for 150 years or so and many of our growers’ plantings are quite ancient. “It makes delicious, refreshing young wines as well as complex bottle aged examples such as the 2005 Margaret that is released as a five year old and represents our best Semillon of vintage,” he said. bravo Margaret! You can taste Margaret Semillon 2005 along with many other Peter Lehmann wines (and about 500 others) at our Annual Tasting on March 7th.

  • Trimbach Cuvee Frederic Emile 2004

    David Williams in The Observer waxes lyrical for truly great wines - and quite rightly too. He has chosen an absolute classic - Trimbach's Cuvee Frederic Emile in this week's column. David says "The best wines have a sparkle that's hard to describe, an energy that sets them apart from the mundane. If you have 30 quid to spare – the price of a basic bottle of champers – then you can see what I mean by picking up a bottle of this great riesling. It has a sensation similar to biting into a Cox's apple, but the flavours are more on the mineral and citrus end of the spectrum, and it's delicate but incredibly concentrated." You can taste Cuvee Frederic Emile at our Annual Tasting on 7 March.

  • Domaine de la Janasse

    "one of the great Chateauneuf du Pape estates" according to Robert Parker, Janasse produce wines which do not compromise. Everything they do from humble Cotes du Rhone up to the iconic Chaupin shows the same dedication.

  • Domaine de la Janasse

    "one of the great Chateauneuf du Pape estates" according to Robert Parker, Janasse produce wines which do not compromise. Everything they do from humble Cotes du Rhone up to the iconic Chauvin shows the same dedication.

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